Tag Archives: DHS

Valdosta election results and oaths @ VCC 2016-01-07

Tonight, election results, a homeland security thermal imaging grant, and bench placement on streets. And a church food bank, already heard by the Planning Commission 30 November 2015.

Here’s the agenda.

5:30 PM Thursday, January 7, 2016

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Transparency could have prevented TX fertlizer plant explosion

Has anybody checked on the various agricultural chemical plants around here? Lack of transparency can kill.

Joshua Schneyer, Ryan McNeill and Janet Roberts wrote for Reuters today, Texas fertilizer company didn’t heed disclosure rules before blast,

The fertilizer plant that exploded on Wednesday, obliterating part of a small Texas town and killing at least 14 people, had last year been storing 1,350 times the amount of ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Yet a person familiar with DHS operations said the company that owns the plant, West Fertilizer, did not tell the agency about the potentially explosive fertilizer as it is required to do, leaving one of the principal regulators of ammonium nitrate—which can also be used in bomb making—unaware of any danger there.

Fertilizer plants and depots must report to the DHS when they hold 400 lb (180 kg) or more of the substance. Filings this year with the Texas Department of State Health Services, which weren’t shared with DHS, show the plant had 270 tons of it on hand last year.

There’s more in the article.


Mutual Aid at Lowndes County Commission 2012 02 27,28

The Lowndes County Commission will consider
6.c. Statewide Mutual Aid Agreement
at its work session Monday morning and will vote at its regular session Tuesday evening. This is about emergency response calls, such as for the fire in Remerton, when Remerton called Lowndes County, which called Valdosta, which sent fire trucks to Remerton. Why the indirect time-consuming call while a fire doubles in size every minute? Remerton didn’t have a mutual aid agreement with Valdosta, but did with Lowndes County.

This is the same Commission that went on for 11 minutes in the 21 February 2011 work session about a Homeland Security grant for an emergency vehicle, worring that the county might have to pay to maintain it and might have to share it with other municipalities. And then rejected it the next day, if I recall correctly. What will they think of this mutual aid agreement?

Here’s the agenda.


WORK SESSION, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2012, 8:30 a.m.
327 N. Ashley Street – 2nd Floor
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Commission voted for $128,497.05 road cost overrun without discussion @ LCC 2012 Jan 10

Discrepancy? What discrepancy?

Staff presented the agenda item “7.b. Entrance Gate at Davidson and Roberts Roads”:

Lowndes County received a $2M grant from the Federal Highway Administration for construction of a new Moody AFB entrance gate, the gate to be located located at the intersection of Davidson and Roberts Roads. $477,991 of this money has already been taken for the railroad crossing improvements, leaving a balance of $1.52 million. The low bid is from Scruggs Company, $1,648,497.05.
Wait, what? The low bid is for more than the funds available? Surely somebody will explain that?

Nope, no discussion. Instead, Commissioner Crawford Powell said:

I’ll make a motion we approve the bid as presented by staff.
Commissioner Evans seconded, and they all voted for it. Hey, what $128,497.05 discrepancy?

Here’s Part 1 of 2:

Commission voted for $128,497.05 road cost overrun without discussion @ LCC 2012 Jan 10 Part 1 of 2:
Regular Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 10 January 2012.
Videos by Gretchen Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.

If we look at the previous morning’s work session (9 January 2012), we do find a bit more information. The grant was presented as involving both the Federal Highway Administration and Homeland Security, and:

Mr. Fletcher has additional information.
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Private prisons unaccountable —ACLU

Found on the ACLU blog of rights.

Azadeh Shahshahani wrote for the AJC 11 June 2009, Private prisons for immigrants lack accountability, oversight

On March 11, a 39-year-old man held in detention at the Stewart Detention Center, a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in southwest Georgia, died at a hospital in Columbus.
That’s in Lumpkin, west of Americus, south of Columbus.
To this day, the immediate cause of Roberto Martinez Medina’s death remains unclear (a press release pronounced the cause of death as “apparent natural causes”).

Last month, Leonard Odom, 37, died at the Wheeler County Correctional Facility in south-central Georgia.

That’s in Alamo, GA, between Macon, Tifton, and Savannah.
Both facilities are operated by Corrections Corp. of America, which has a contract with the Department of Homeland Security to operate the Stewart center and one with the Georgia Department of Corrections to operate the one in Wheeler County.
So, what happened? Continue reading